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North Alabama schools will be impacted as CDC relaxes social distancing guidelines

The CDC says students can sit 3-feet apart instead of 6.

Posted: Mar 21, 2021 10:47 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2021 9:58 AM

More changes could be made to how your kids are learning.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is relaxing social distancing guidelines in schools by allowing kids to sit 3 feet apart instead of 6.

WAAY-31 spoke with one North Alabama superintendent and a parent about why this change seems manageable.

The CDC based its decision off of studies that show smaller children don't spread coronavirus as quickly as adults and older children.

Muscle Shoals City Schools Superintendent Dr. Chad Holden told us this makes him hopeful for more​​ kids in the classroom.

"It makes parents who have not been sending their children to school for in-person learning, that it makes them feel a lot more comfortable, that the transmission rate amongst smaller children is relatively low," he said.

Researchers took a look at some schools who weren't following the 6-foot guideline and they discovered the transmission rate of COVID-19 was low.

So now, the CDC says elementary school aged children can sit 3-feet away from one another.

Huntsville mother Brittany Garner says this will ease some tension between teachers as well.

"It'll be a lot easier for the teachers because there's not as much as pressure to worry about how close the kids are while trying to teach them in different ways. So they can actually learn something and really soak it in," she said.

If there is a high COVID transmission rate in any given area...that school should still maintain 6-feet.

Even though the CDC is relaxing the distance, they say masks should still be worn.

The director of the CDC believes this can allow for more kids to have better mental health and social skills after dealing with so much isolation from friends and family.

"Kids are sitting far for lunch and that's their favorite time of the day is to sit around, eat lunch and talk about everything that's going on," said Garner.

Under the revised guidelines, the CDC says plastic or plexiglass barriers aren't necessary because they're proven to be ineffective in preventing COVID transmission...but​​ masks and cleaning practices should still be done daily.

Dr. Holden says it's important to remember we're not​​ out of the woods just yet.

"When you just start winning the game, you don't pull you starters. You want to get a good, comfortable lead before you do that and I think that's where we are. We need to keep doing what we've been doing that has gotten us to this point and not let our guard down because then we start taking steps backwards and we do not want to do that," he said.

The governor has already stated after April 9, the statewide mask mandate will end and it's up to schools and businesses to keep or do away with the practice.

For Muscle Shoals City Schools, they will be keeping the masks in schools as a requirement.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 524367

Reported Deaths: 10807
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson756511496
Mobile40258800
Madison34165498
Tuscaloosa25448445
Montgomery24089574
Shelby23250243
Baldwin20787302
Lee15670166
Calhoun14375313
Morgan14180274
Etowah13716348
Marshall12022220
Houston10427279
Elmore10011202
Limestone9873149
Cullman9512191
St. Clair9508236
Lauderdale9293234
DeKalb8774183
Talladega8131173
Walker7153277
Autauga6793107
Jackson6772110
Blount6556133
Colbert6240132
Coffee5435113
Dale4780111
Russell432139
Franklin421882
Chilton4153110
Covington4084116
Tallapoosa3943149
Escambia390375
Dallas3529150
Chambers3526122
Clarke347660
Marion3084100
Pike306776
Lawrence297696
Winston273272
Bibb256961
Marengo248461
Geneva246475
Pickens233359
Barbour228455
Hale219175
Butler214068
Fayette210560
Henry188344
Cherokee182945
Randolph178741
Monroe174040
Washington165838
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149957
Cleburne147141
Lamar139834
Lowndes137853
Wilcox125427
Bullock122140
Conecuh109828
Perry107626
Sumter103332
Coosa100928
Greene91534
Choctaw59024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 837833

Reported Deaths: 12111
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby933421591
Davidson88250926
Knox49926625
Hamilton43501488
Rutherford42422423
Williamson27589215
Sumner23549345
Montgomery19740224
Wilson18547229
Out of TN1797995
Unassigned16778133
Sullivan16266287
Blount15213194
Bradley14670148
Washington14243244
Maury13261170
Sevier13204175
Putnam11193173
Madison10853241
Robertson9627129
Anderson8639171
Hamblen8522171
Greene7746152
Tipton7235104
Coffee6833121
Dickson6740109
Cumberland6586128
Carter6487156
Bedford6439129
Gibson6410144
McMinn637897
Roane6197102
Jefferson6089124
Loudon602469
Lawrence582086
Hawkins5802106
Monroe572495
Warren551881
Dyer5371104
Franklin509488
Fayette493678
Obion450396
Cheatham445954
Cocke444298
Rhea431575
Lincoln430963
Marshall412358
Campbell410562
Weakley403763
Giles396299
Henderson373276
Macon358677
Carroll357782
White356269
Hardin350566
Hardeman346764
Lauderdale314444
Henry312675
Marion310846
Claiborne307373
Scott305745
Overton298161
Wayne294434
Hickman280746
McNairy277254
DeKalb275753
Smith275238
Haywood268461
Grainger259649
Trousdale249122
Morgan246339
Fentress238446
Johnson232238
Bledsoe210111
Chester209651
Crockett201548
Polk200324
Unicoi195249
Cannon189231
Union186534
Grundy178433
Humphreys174622
Lake169626
Sequatchie167028
Benton163440
Decatur157538
Lewis156626
Meigs135124
Stewart131028
Jackson130035
Clay109431
Houston108633
Perry105728
Moore100217
Van Buren83622
Pickett75724
Hancock55712

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